Top tips for starting your A Levels by Apprenticeship Ambassador Ikra Ahmed

Apprenticeship Ambassador Ikra Ahmed is an Apprentice Project Coordinator within the Business Services team at RM Education, based at Milton Park near Abingdon. As students across Oxfordshire start the new academic year, Ikra was keen to share her top tips to help everyone starting A Levels:

1. The jump was really big from GCSEs – I wish someone highlighted how much the workload increased so I could be more prepared. Its nothing you can't manage, it is just something I wish I was more aware of from the start.

2. It’s really important to find the right balance between spending time with your mates and dedicating time to your school work – I was guilty of spending the first few weeks of free periods to just socialise – it okay to take breaks but the free periods aren’t here to have hours of a break, it’s there to allow you to study the way you like to. I liked to use these periods to create flashcards from the previous lesson I was in – its never too early to start producing revision material.

3. Getting the work done is down to you! Before A Levels, I would have my teachers chasing me for work that I haven’t completed on time. In A Levels, you’re expected to meet your deadlines without being chased – this is a lot harder than it sounds!

4. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for help! Having those one to one session in your free periods with a teachers were the best things! They really tailor themselves to make you understand anything you're stuck on a lot better.

5. I would also suggest that you get involved in something that you enjoy – for example, every Wednesday after school, some sixth formers would book the sports hall to play badminton for a couple of hours. We would play and listen to music and it was a really good way for us to just relax and focus on something other than work for a bit! It also broke the week up nicely.

6. It’s important to reward your efforts! A lot of people stress that A Levels are the toughest 2 years and that instantly makes you feel like you need the mind-set to just work and not chill. You know yourself better than anyone – you’re entitled to have a reward or a day off when you know you have done some great work. You are still allowed to have fun! It’s all about balance.

Great advice, thanks Ikra! Find out more about Ikra by reading her Apprenticeship story.